Product creation, and having your own product or products to sell is definitely one of the ways to earn extra money, regardless of whether it is in the online or the offline world.
In the online world, because it is so easy to become an affiliate for other peoples products, people often neglect the idea of creating their own products. This is a shame really, as having your own product for sale definitely adds respectability to your website and your persona. Even if your product does not sell very well, it is still a great asset (nobody but you needs to know about how many sales you make).
So how should you go about product creation for the first time? These are the steps involved:
- Start with an idea for the subject matter of your ebook
- Get some content for the ebook
- Format it nicely
- Publish it as a PDF ebook
Notice that number two is blank, the process skips from number one to number three. This is deliberate. Step two would be research, and its left blank for a reason. That reason is explained down further.
Step one, the Idea: The idea can come from anywhere, and at any time. Very often, the best of ideas occur to us when we are doing non-work activities, and while we are away from the computer. Also, very often these ideas are forgotten about later.
Once you have agreed with the general idea that you should make your own product, start to always carry around something that you can use to takes notes. Use anything you wish, such as a small notebook and pen, or any recording device, even your mobile phone. Get into the habit of making a note of all your ideas. If you are doing some activity which prevents you from taking notes there and then, maybe in the shower or playing sports or something, then make that mental note to record it at the first available opportunity.
Always allow at least one full day, then go back over your idea(s) and examine them again before deciding to go ahead with them.
Step two, Research: In product creation, there is a proper way to do research, and it involves question and answer surveys to try to find out what people want in such a product. Also some time must be spent researching and examining other existing products already out there.
Here’s the reason why I left that blank. For your first product, your first time out, you will probably find any of the following: there is no demand for your product idea; there is lots of demand and fierce competition; you have almost no chance of competing with the existing products.
These could very well cause you to stop and give up straight away. So I am recommending that you do the very minimum research for your very first product, just take the following points into consideration: make sure that you sleep on it for at least one full day; and make sure that you can get your product created without too much time and effort.
Step three, the Content: There are two broad ways of getting content for your product. Make it yourself, or get others to make it for you. Making it yourself, such as writing it all out from scratch, is the hardest way of all, and will take the most time.
Getting others to make it for you is a lot easier and takes a lot less time. Here are some of the methods that are used to get content:
- Public Domain: Have a look in Project Gutenberg, which contains a great selection of free ebooks where the copyright has expired.
- Private Label Rights (PLR): You can find PLR material on just about every subject, and this can be a great source of content.
- Interviews: Try to find an expert on your subject, and perform an interview. This is a great way to do product creation. Very often your experts will agree to do it for free, just offer them some publicity.
- Outsourcing: Hire a writer to write some content for you.
- Recycle: Maybe you have some old material of your own that you can rewrite or recycle.
Step four, Format It: Make it look nice overall by using a nice font. Times New Roman might be the most common, but for ebooks, try some other fonts such as Arial, Colibri, Verdana, or just experiment. You can make use of font size, page margins, paragraph spacing, and line spacing to help increase the length of your ebook if necessary, but do not over-do it by having too much white space. Make sure to view every page in preview mode, and watch out for things like widows and orphans, where sections begin or finish too close to the end of the page.
Step Five, Publish It: This is the final stage in the product creation phase. When it comes to making the actual PDF, there are a few things to bear in mind. Some PDF makers can jiggle your content, meaning that it may not look exactly like you had planned. Also, most of the free PDF programs can not handle hyper-links that make use of anchor-text. The resultant output contains what look like links, but you will find that they are not click-able.
Before you publish, be sure to include a nice cover image on the first page, along with the title of the ebook. This same image can be used when preparing any banners or sales pages to promote the ebook.
Of all the free PDF creation programs, by far the best is OpenOffice Writer. This handles the output very well, and also takes care of any links properly. Just ‘Export as PDF’ from the File menu when you are ready to publish.
That’s it, your very own venture at product creation all complete. Now all you have to do is promote it and make some sales. We will be covering other items such as accompanying videos and audio in another article, and we will also be discussing sales pages.
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Filed Under: Product Creation